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The Venture Bros., on Cartoon Network
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Okay. This is a sort of spoof of the old Jonny Quest cartoon, which I haven't seen nearly enough of to appreciate. It's also a spoof of the Hardy Boys, I guess. Anyway, it's funny. There's this "superscientist" named Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture, who travels around with his sons Hank and Dean, and a bodyguard named Brock Samson, and a robot named H.E.L.P.eR. They sometimes have to face villains like the Monarch, who considers Venture his archnemesis. The Monarch has a bunch of henchmen, but only two of them, 21 and 24, are of particular interest. He also has a girlfriend called Dr. Girlfriend (whose voice reminds me of Harvey Fierstein).

Anyway, sometimes Team Venture has real adventures, and sometimes they're just having an average day, but Hank and Dean turn it into an adventure in their own minds, cuz they always think there's some enemy to face. They're pretty stupid, and annoying. And Dr. Venture doesn't like them or much of anything about his life. And Brock doesn't seem to like anything except fighting bad guys and having sex with whatever woman is in the episode that week. Oh, and the Ventures have a neighbor named Dr. Orpheus, who is a necromancer. He has a daughter named Triana, whom he calls "Pumpkin," and Dean has a crush on her.

Well, there are any number of other recurring characters, who I don't feel the need to list all of (though a villain called Phantom Limb becomes quite important). But um... I dunno, at first the series just seemed sort of tolerable to me, but over time it definitely grew on me. Eventually you see there's actually a great deal of continuity, backstory, and over-arching plot development, even if most of the stuff that happens seems pretty random. There's even a certain degree of psychology... for example, Dr. Venture was a boy adventurer himself, and a genius, the son of the great Dr. Jonas Venture, whose legacy Rusty now fails to live up to. And... well, I can't think what else to say right now, but it's a really funny show which only gets better the deeper you get into it. Unfortunately, I lost access to Cartoon Network in 2011, so I haven't seen past season four. But someday I'll probably get the series on DVD and try to write a more comprehensive review including the major plot developments of each season.

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